Does your culture foster inquiry or punishment?
#1 How can we make it safe to question?
#2 How might we make questioning rewarding?
#3 How might we make questioning productive?
#4 How can we make a culture of inquiry stick?
In prior posts, I’ve shared many ideas from the landmark book The Book of Beautiful Questions.
The above questions are from page 189 of the book, in a chapter titled Questions for stronger leadership.
Below are expansions on the questions from the author, Warren Berger:
For point ONE: ‘many employees – about two-thirds of them, according to one survey – feel “unable to ask a question a work”. They worry that the question will be unwelcome for various reasons, or even that is may be seen as insubordination.
Have you ever even tacitly suggested you don’t welcome people asking questions?
For point TWO: ‘one subtle way that
questioners in business are sometimes punished is by being “rewarded” with more work.’
For point THREE: ‘For people to be more productive in their questioning, it’s important to teach them that questioning can and should be aimed at achieving a desired outcome …not to debate philosophical questions endlessly, nor to wonder just for the sake of wondering.’
For point FOUR: ‘What if you ask employees to come up with one ambitious question a week, to be shared with their colleagues?
Own the Conversation
- Make a nine minute appointment with yourself in the next seven days, in a space away from your office.
- Choose one of the four questions to ask and answer.
- Make a definite time to share the question and answer it with a trusted colleague.